Rob Roy 0 Auchinleck 0: Rabs still top after Talbot stalemate

Rob Roy couldn't find a way past the Talbot defence but still top the table
Rob Roy couldn't find a way past the Talbot defence but still top the table

Title rivals Kirkintilloch Rob Roy and Auchnleck Talbot served up a tense goalless draw at Guy’s Meadow on Saturday.

Overall a draw was probably a fair results with the draw - and a surprise defeat for Glenafton - allowing Rabs to retain top spot.

From the start Rob Roy took the game to their Ayrshire opponents with Jordan McGuire driving the ball wide in the opening minutes.

In Talbot’s first real attacking move Dylan Pooler broke down the left wing before crossing to Graham Wilson who knocked the ball past the post from five yards.

Play was then halted when a collision between Talbot keeper Andy Leishman and Rabs’ Willie Sawyers resulted in the striker receiving lengthy treatment for a head cut before returning with his injury heavily bandaged.

Stewart Maxwell’s side continued to have the better of the exchanges. Danny Boyle headed a McGuire free-kick over the bar then his effort from distance also went in the same direction.

Boyle was causing problems to the Talbot defence at set pieces and was unlucky to see his header hit the post, then cleared off the goal-line, following a Lee Gallacher corner.

Both sides had chances to take the lead before the break.

Kevin Watt and McGuire had shots at goal blocked and at the other end Pooler’s effort lacked power and was easily collected by Rabs keeper Michael McKinven.

And in the 40th minute Leishman made a brilliant stop to prevent a Gallacher free-kick from sailing into the top corner of his net.

Two minutes after the restart Rabs had a strong claim for a when Gallacher appeared to be pulled down by James Latta but referee Williams adjudged the offence occurred outside the penalty box and awarded a free-kick.

Rabs had a chance to take the lead when Sawyers connected with a Gallacher free-kick but sent his powerful header over the bar.

While Rabs were the more prominent side in the first half, Talbot were now exerting pressure on them in the second period with Graham Wilson’s strong runs down the left flank causing concern to the home defence.

In the 55th minute Wilson smashed a volley against the underside of the Rabs crossbar with the Talbot players claiming the rebound had crossed the line. Minutes later Bryan Young came close with a header as the visitors searched for the opening goal.

Rabs had a further escape in the 66th minute when Pooler crashed his effort off the woodwork with McKinven beaten, then Young brought out a scrambling save from the Rabs keeper.

In the 75th minute Sawyers was through on goal but his finish lacked conviction and posed no threat to Leishman.

Both sides chased a late winner, Pooler fired over the bar when in a good position then Rabs young substitute Connor Hughes beat Leishman in the race for the ball but prodded it agonisingly past the wrong side of the post.

Next up for Rabs is another title showdown away to second-placed Beith this Saturday.